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Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education

Valedictorians and Salutatorian  


  • Class of 2023 Valedictorian: Maya Blasingame

    Maya Blasingame, C'2023Maya Blasingame, a graduating senior, biology major on the pre-medical track, is one of Spelman College's class of 2023 valedictorians. She is a member of the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and Tri Beta Biological Honors Society.

    A member of the Department of Defense Academic Scholars Program and the Spelman College LINCS Program, Blasingame is also a Morehouse School of Medicine Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy Scholar. She is also a Spelman biology department student researcher where she conducted bioinformatics research with Yonas Tekle, Ph.D. Her commitment to excellence in research is demonstrated by the work she co-authored in the Scientific Reports Journal.

    Blasingame is active on and off campus. She is a dedicated member of the Spelman Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students, Student Ambassadors, the “Sweet” Mu Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and the Lady Buds Mentoring Program. She also serves as a co-communication chair for The Blue Record Podcast and as an intern for “In Those Genes,” an award-winning podcast hosted by Spelman alumna Janina M. Jeff, Ph.D., M.S. 

    In the fall, Blasingame will attend medical school. She hopes to not only practice as a physician, but to serve underrepresented populations and advocate for those who are not always seen and heard within the medical community.

  • Class of 2023 Valedictorian: Amaia Calhoun

    Amaia CalhounAmaia Calhoun is a senior economics major with a double minor in Spanish and Management & Organization. On May 21, 2023, she will graduate Summa Cum Laude as one of Spelman College's four valedictorians.

    Calhoun has been on the Dean’s List at Spelman for four years and is a member of the Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program, Omicron Delta Epsilon International Economics Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, and the Eta Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was invited to join Phi Beta Kappa this year and has served as the secretary of business and finance for the 81st administration of Spelman’s Student Government Association. The Cleveland, Ohio native participated in Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) as a Career Prep Fellow, and conducted research in economics as a Spelman-Sloan Scholar and VLab research assistant. 

    Calhoun desires to pursue a career related to the allocation of capital based on the historical exclusion of underrepresented groups, specifically the Black community, from wealth-building activities. Growing up in a family business environment allowed her to experience firsthand how capital can create change in minority communities. Additionally, her coursework and research experiences in economics have allowed her to study issues of unequal distribution of resources more closely. Her family and academic backgrounds have informed her interest in and passion for work focused on leveraging capital for good. After graduation, she will join Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) as an investment analyst. She wants to be a bridge of understanding where capital is not just seen as a means for gaining material wealth, but as a mechanism for social change. 

  • Class of 2023 Valedictorian: Chandler Nutall

    Nutall Chandler, C'2023

    Chandler Nutall, one of Spelman College's class of 2023 valedictorians, is a senior English major from Washington, D.C. Before beginning her matriculation at Spelman, she earned her associate of arts degree while she was in high school from The George Washington University through a dual-enrollment program. 

    An Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Scholar, Nutall is a Spelman Social Justice Program Fellow and serves as the 81st president of the Spelman Student Government Association. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the Eta Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

    In 2021, Nutall was named an HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs. In 2022, she became an Arthur Liman Public Interest Law Fellow through Yale Law School and a Harry S. Truman Scholarship Finalist for the Washington D.C. region.

    After graduating from Spelman, Nutall will participate in a public affairs fellowship in New York before pursuing a Juris Doctor degree. She ultimately aspires to become an executive director of a philanthropic organization overseeing the operation, planning and funding efforts in support of institutions and projects uplifting marginalized communities.

  • Class of 2023 Valedictorian: Sydney DuPree

    Sydney DuPree, C'2023Sydney DuPree, a senior theater major and transfer student from Port St. Lucie, Florida, is one of four valedictorians who will graduate from Spelman College on May 21, 2023.

    A member of the Delta Lambda Honors Society, DuPree is on the executive board of the Brains With Beauty Project, a nonprofit education and empowerment organization started by Spelman alumna and 2022 valedictorian Nailah Barnes that equips Black girls and young women with tools to accentuate their innate brilliance and beauty.

    DuPree, who is on track to graduate summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, enjoys acting, drawing, painting and writing. She is currently signed with Atlanta's Forward Agency as a television/film actress and landed two roles in television and film this year. She also presented, "DADDY: A Live Walk-Thru Drama About Human Trafficking" at Spelman earlier this semester. The hard hitting, immersive theatrical production began in the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center lobby and then transitioned to different spaces as audience members walked together from scene to scene. DuPree aspires to use her acting experience to pursue a career as a casting director. 


  • Class of 2023 Salutatorian: Maya Phillips

    Maya PhillipsSociology major Maya Phillips, is Spelman College's class of 2023 salutatorian. The Stoughton, Massachusetts native has served in various leadership positions in the Atlanta University Center, including president of the Unlocked Minds Book Club, policy advocate with the Georgia Women’s Policy Institute, data analyst with the Morehouse Community Data Fellowship, and Spelman liaison with the Morehouse Business Association.

    A graduate of the 2023 Women of Excellence in Leadership (WELS) program, Phillips was recently inducted into the Epsilon of Georgia chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. During the summer of 2022, she participated in the University of California Berkeley's Sociology Summer Research Program on Race as a research fellow. In this role, she assisted a team of professors researching inequalities in STEM education, with a focus on students of color and first-generation students learning data science.

    In addition to serving as a Social Justice Fellow, Phillips is a member of Spelman's Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program, and  the Mu Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Upon graduation, she will begin her professional career as a strategy analyst at Deloitte Consulting.